Mark Forton is an artist from Northern Michigan and he currently lives in the southern part of the state. He recently contributed to Vote The Environment so we caught up with him and asked him some questions.
Mark's self portrait.
How did you become an artist?
Art is something that I've always enjoyed ever since a young age. I remember when I was very young, 4 maybe, sitting at my grandparents house in Posen Michigan. I was drawing Popeye in a little notebook I had. My grandfather encouraged me to keep drawing and not give up. This motivation put me on a path. From comic books to graffiti to Picasso, art is always played a major role in my life.
What’s your connection to the cause of Vote The Environment?
Aaron (Perry-Zucker) is my connection to the Vote The Environment project. I've known Aaron since the Design for Obama days. If Aaron needs anything I've got his back. Plus this project is one that I live every day. My wife and I have been involved in environmental issues for many years. This urgent situation should be top priority for everyone on this planet right now.
Mark's contributions to Vote The Environment. Click on each image if you want to see more about them.
I approach projects differently. One constant is music. I have to have the right music playing in the studio to set the mood for that project. Once that is chosen then I can go off in any which direction. Drawing, painting, photography, Photoshop, fire, water, snow, rain, ice, paper, glass you name it. It all comes into play.
What are you working on these days when you’re not designing for CAN?
Nothing! Well, nothing graphic design wise, but I am always creating art in one form or another. I try to finish up all of my big summer design projects by the end of July then take the month of August off. I spend a lot of time on the road in August usually visiting with clients, vacationing with family and friends, and spending a lot of time at the Traverse City Film Festival. By the way this is a fantastic Film Festival! It's a good rebooting process & it gives me time to focus on my fine art as well.
What do you plan to do with the money you'll get from CAN?
I plan on buying more art supplies and paying some bills. Maybe I’ll buy an Adobe Ink & Slide.
Our Green New Deal campaign premiered on March 14, 2019 in Washington D.C., at Bold V. Old, a daylong convening where speakers including Stacey Abrams, Cory Booker and Kamala Harris discussed bold ideas for our biggest problems, including the Green New Deal. On March 16 In Oakland, CA, Creative Action Network joined artists and activists at the Green New Deal Create-A-Thon, where youth artists from the Sunrise Movement and others worked on new designs for the collection. Youth activist Rio says that after seeing videos of Greta Thunberg leading student climate strikes in Europe, “me and my sister were empowered to make some sort of difference.” Rio and his sister Maddy recently rose to internet stardom when their student group confronted Senator Feinstein about the Green New Deal a few weeks ago. Maddy says she is now “trying to make my voice be more heard, go to marches, and more creative stuff, definitely!”